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Her Universe becomes Our Universe
Ashley Eckstein became a Star Wars hero playing Ahsoka Tano on The Clone Wars and Rebels. As creator of the Her Universe fashion line, she inspired geek girls to flaunt their style with sci-fi inspired outfits. Now she's expanding to both boys and girls with a new line of Black Panther and Disney Princess-inspired playwear called Our Universe.
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This outfit for girls takes its cues from the red and black beadwork uniforms of Wakanda's all-female secret service — the Dora Milaje. "It's encouraging the kids to think they can be superheroes in real life," Eckstein says. This line is available for sale exclusively at The Disney Store and online at shopDisney.com.
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The gold emblem of the panther is from the belt the Dora Milaje warriors wear. "We did these raised [fabric] gauntlets on her forearms and legs, so it's like they're putting on armor," Eckstein says.
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This boys active wear has a warm-up jacket emblazoned with the Black Panther's mask, with claw marks on the leggings and sleeves.
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"The thing I'm most proud of is Black Panther's costume glows, and that blue in the outfit is reflective," Eckstein says. "There's the safety element for parents, if they're playing at night, but it combines the coolness factor with the safety factor."
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This playwear doubles as swimwear. "This is more inspired-by," Eckstein says, rather than a copy of any specific outfit from the movie.
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"We were very inspired by the claws, and Black Panther shattering something," Eckstein says. "So we went with a very geometric, shattered pattern."
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The Our Universe line also comes with a Disney Princess-inspired collection, which combines elements of various characters with inspirational messaging.
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The logo for this line is a coat of arms that features iconograpy of the various princesses. "Every piece means something," Eckstein says. "The crown at the top represents all the princesses. Then the water lily represents Tiana [from The Princess and the Frog], the leaves and swirls are from Pochahontas, and the book is for Belle [from Beauty and the Beast], a reminder to choose your own adventure."
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"The bow and arrow is for Merida [from Brave], a reminder to be fearless," Eckstein says. "The shell is for Ariel [from The Little Mermaid], and that's a reminder to find your voice. The sun is for Rapunzel [from Tangled], which is a reminder to always see the light. And the sword down the middle is for Mulan, a reminder everyone has an inner warrior."
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"Dream it. Do it." is the logo of this Princess wear. "I was inspired by this being the age where kids and tweens are learning the lessons of the princesses," Eckstein said. "It's almost like a princess school."
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"Rather than put images of actual princesses on the clothes, I was thinking of the tween audience," Eckstein says. "My neice Ava, who is the brunette model in the photos, is my inspiration. She's a huge Disney fan, and a huge princess fan, but she never wore anything with the princesses on it." Little kids do that, you see. As fans get older, they don't abandon the princesses. It's just cooler to be abstract.